The tourer, tandem and Audax bike specialist - big into mail-order - is to launch a steel Thorn MTB to retail for £1999 and fitted with a Rohloff 14-speed hub gear, Fox Vanilla RL forks and Hope mini mono discs.

St John Street Cycles launch first MTB

"Having spent time developing our Rohloff-equipped touring bikes, and also being a keen MTB rider, I realised that the hub would be perfect for UK mountain biking," said St John Street’s designer Andy Blance.

"This should hardly be a surprise because the Speedhub was originally designed to be suitable for downhill racing in Northern European mud. In September 2003 I rode the Newnham 90Km Enduro on our first prototype Rohloff mountain bike; this was a hard tail design, built from our medium weight, conical, Reynolds 853 tube set. I designed the frame specifically for hard use, low maintenance and long life. The results were encouraging enough to make me realise that, once the geometry was spot on, the bike would actually be perfect for long distance, high performance cross-country riding, winter MTB training or towing a Bob Yak trailer around the world."

The first 100 frames arrive from Taiwan in mid May.

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